Thursday, September 03, 2020

A Mask Idea

 I've seen several articles lately about how the masks everyone has to wear have an up side: They frustrate facial recognition algorithms. Here's one of the better pieces on that, by JD Tuccille at Reason. And that gets me thinking ...

A mask made of two layers of (thin, so it doesn't impede breathing too much) cloth.

In between those layers, several little plastic pouches of different sizes and shapes, with tubes of different diameters leading to a small finger operated air pump and a leaky one-way valve.

When you're ready to go out, you squeeze the little pump bubble a few times. The pouches expand, creating new shapes (and an asymmetric overall shape) underneath the mask. While you're out and about, the pouches slowly (and at different rates due to the varied pouch sizes and tube diameters) leak air.

That way, not only is the mask frustrating to the facial recognition algorithms in and of itself, but whatever the mask is telling those algorithms is constantly changing. The "you" a camera sees at 10:15am isn't the same "you" another camera sees at 10:30am.

I don't support the idea of patents, nor do I have the time, money, or inclination to fully design such a mask, have it manufactured, and market it. But I hope someone starts offering something along those lines.

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